Offensive lineman C.J. Thorpe’s father has been hands off with his son’s recruitment, save for one school. Thorpe’s father, Chris, played football at Penn State and still holds onto some negative feelings for Ohio State.
So when coach Urban Meyer called the elder Thorpe to talk about his son’s recruitment, Chris bluntly told Meyer that it wasn’t worth his time to recruit the ESPN 300 prospect.
“Urban Meyer called my dad, and he told him he should stop recruiting me because it’s not going to happen,” Thorpe said. “After I got my Penn State offer, Urban called my dad and then he fell off the face of the earth. I didn’t know what happened and thought Ohio State was just not offering me, but I talked to my dad a year after the call, and he was like, ‘Yeah, I told him he can’t recruit you.’”
Thorpe chose the Nittany Lions on his own account and said he likely wouldn’t have chosen the Buckeyes anyway, but he didn't know his father had stopped the conversation.
Chris was a running back at Penn State in the mid to late '80s, and he happened to play with then-defensive coach Tom Bradley, who is now the defensive coordinator at UCLA. That connection has the younger Thorpe interested in the Bruins, and despite his commitment to Penn State, C.J. plans to visit UCLA on Jan. 27.
“We formed a relationship through Coach Bradley,” Thorpe said. “My dad said as long as I get a free education, then he’s good with whatever.”
Thorpe says his commitment to Penn State is solid, and he plans to visit the Nittany Lions on Jan. 24, but he wants to take the UCLA visit just to make sure he is making the right choice.
That final decision will likely be Penn State, and either way, if he chooses the Nittany Lions or the Bruins, his dad will be happy because it won’t be Ohio State.